Challenge level: 4 out of 5
|4 April - 14 April 2019||On Sale|
Help fallen sports heroes regain their independence on this stunning coast to coast cycling challenge from the Caribbean Sea right to the Pacific Ocean.
Following a beautiful route from Limón to Playa Hermosa, you’ll cycle 360 km through a wildly changing landscape, through jungles, tranquil villages and bustling towns, past fruit farms and across rivers and of course, alongside the dazzling blue sea.
Don’t be fooled: although picturesque, this is no easy feat. Cycling for six days straight in the Costa Rican heat and an unfamiliar environment, it’s both physically and mentally demanding. But the breath-taking views, the fascinating culture and the life-long friendships formed along the way are more than worth it!
And that’s not even to mention the best part: the incredible cause! This challenge is Pacific-ally to support Regain, the only charity dedicated to providing practical and emotional help to people who have become tetraplegic in a sporting incident and enabling them to regain their independence.
Personally supporting over 300 "Regainers", this incredible charity assists to provide equipment and facilities to improve mobility, communication, education and employment opportunities.
In a coconut-shell, by taking on this awesome challenge, you’ll be helping people who, like you, once lived for exploring and cycling but who’ve lost their ability to do the things they love most. You’ll help them to get their life back!
To our tetraplegic challengers
If you are tetraplegic and interested in a place on Cycle Costa Rica, Regain will pay the cost of your flights, food, accommodation etc. which is £1,799. You will be asked to raise minimum sponsorship funds of £2,000 for the charity. However, the charity would be pleased if you could raise as much additional sponsorship as you can in order to ensure the event is a financial success. In addition to paying for your costs the charity is able to fund the costs of a carer/assistant to accompany you on the event (if you require someone to assist with your daily care). This person would be expected to cycle with you and assist you during the day, supporting you generally throughout the challenge. If you require a carer/assistant you must submit an application for this person at the same time as your own (no registration fee is payable).
After our flight from the UK to San José, we meet our local ground team at the airport and transfer to our hotel in the city. The morning of Day 2 is free for you to explore the city, which is the capital of Costa Rica and so a great place to start our adventure across the country. As well as being the seat of the national government, San José, named after Joseph of Nazareth, is also filled with Spanish Colonial architecture. Later, we catch a coach to Finca Pacuarito, where we enjoy a group dinner and a briefing from our local guide at our campsite. Tonight’s the only night we’ll be camping and all the equipment is provided.
Today marks the beginning of our challenge. We kick off with a quick transfer to Parismina, where we catch a boat ride to see the Caribbean Sea. We mount our bikes at the coast and cycle inland on the first stretch of our journey to the Pacific. Our gorgeous route gives us a fantastic introduction to rural Costa Rica, leading us along quiet roads, surrounded by lively banana farms. Eventually, we reach a river, where our group splits. If you’re riding a hand bike, you catch a coach from the river to our lunch stop, as our next little stretch is inaccessible by these kind of bikes. Those of us taking part on a standard bike take another boat ride upriver, before hopping back in the saddle to complete the rest of the distance to our lunch stop and meeting point. Reunited and refreshed after lunch, we cycle alongside the river together until we reach our hotel in Guápiles, in the heart of Costa Rica’s banana growing region.
If you’re an animal lover, today may be your favourite day! After cycling along paved roads for a while, we reach the Sarapiqui River, a fab place to spot tropical birds and capuchin monkeys. We then continue through bright and beautiful vegetation and farms, glimpsing yet more bananas, along with juicy pineapples. We rest tonight in Sarapiqui.
We see even more fruit and tropical plants today as we ride from Sarapiqui through San Carlos agricultural area, home to farms growing papaya, yucca and pineapples - quite different to our berries and apples in the UK! We also tackle some testing hills today but are rewarded in the afternoon with a route on paved roads to the gorgeous Arenal Volcano. We find our hotel in La Fortuna, the nearest town to the volcano and its hot springs.
Today’s challenging route is also a treat for the eyes and gives us many a sight for sore thighs - and arms for that matter! We start off along the northern shores of Lake Arenal and admire views of the fresh waters and the volcano standing behind it, surrounded by lush plant-life. While the terrain is tough, these sights more than make up for it and take us all the way to our hotel in Tilarán for a good night’s rest.
We take on another day of ridiculously beautiful scenery but challenging terrain. Tackling some tough climbs, you may find our route today a highlight of the challenge, as we witness quite a dramatic change in scenery crossing over to the dryer, Pacific side of the country. We’re further rewarded for our feat with glimpses of both Arenal and Miravalles volcanoes.
You’ll be delighted to know that the last day of our challenge begins with a 20 km down-hill ride. This takes us to a flat section along paved roads towards the stunning Pacific coast. We conquer our challenge once and for all with a last up-hill push to Playa Hermosa, which marks our finish line! Here, we find our hotel sitting right by the white-sand beach, renowned for its beauty. Tonight, we enjoy our celebration dinner and a very well-deserved rest.
Waking up still revelling in the awesome sense of achievement of having cycled 360 km in support of tetraplegics, we have the morning free to rest at the hotel or go out and enjoy the amazing town and beach of Playa Hermosa. This really is an idyllic place to end the challenge, relaxing on a beautiful beach that stretches between two mountains. Later on, we meet back up and transfer to San José for the night.
Time to say “Adios” to Costa Rica! We transfer to San José airport and fly back home to the UK, arriving on Day 11 with a mind full of unforgettable memories.
Pay a non-refundable registration fee and then commit to fundraising a minimum sponsorship amount for Regain Sports Charity.
Minimum sponsorship target
This challenge is not designed for Olympic athletes – it is designed for people looking for an amazing goal to train and get fit for. A number of the people who will take part on this challenge will have little or no fitness level when they sign up. This challenge is the perfect motivation to get fit, lose weight and have an experience of a lifetime.
Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own. Once the event is fully booked we will send you a contact list of everyone registered for the challenge, as often there will be someone in your local area you can meet up to train or fundraise with.
Absolutely not! One of the amazing things about the challenge is that people of all ages will come together to do something very special. The age range is likely to be from 18 to 75.
A cycle helmet is essential and must be worn at all times. Cycling shorts are also recommended and everyone will need their own water bottles or a camel back-type hydration system. Apart from that, no specialist equipment is required. We will supply you with a list of everything you will need to take before you go. Cyclists will have the use of 18 or 21-gear bikes and we suggest you bring the saddle or gel cover you are used to riding on.
We will in stay in a mixture of tourist class hotels, lodges and guest houses in shared rooms throughout and on one of the nights, we'll be camping.
No, your main luggage will be transported each day by our support team. You will need a bag to go on your bike or a waist bag for things like your camera, sun cream, tissues etc. Any extra items you may need during the day can be carried on the support vehicle, which you will have access to during lunch and the snack stops.
Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay, you will need to come out of our group flights (and of course, we would deduct the cost from your balance).
In addition to paying your registration fee you will need to budget for your airport taxes and the fuel surcharge (currently £350 but subject to change – up or down), personal travel insurance, gratuities, optional tours and personal expenses.
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance, covering health, accident, loss and repatriation. Dream Challenges has a recommended policy, which we can send you. Otherwise, you can take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a charity cycle ride in Costa Rica. British nationals don't need a visa to enter Costa Rica. You can stay as a visitor for up to three months.
The Dream Challenges team are here to help you achieve your challenge and will support you all the way. We are on hand from the minute you sign up to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the challenge itself. Once you have registered, we will send you a realistic training programme to help you get fit for the event. The programme builds up gradually as the event gets closer.